Fire Safety Procedures in University Residence Halls

Prevention and Educational Efforts

  • Residents are told not to bring: hot plates, toaster ovens, space heaters, any appliance with open heating element, candles, incense and potpourri burners.
  • All appliances and cords must be UL approved.
  • The Department of Environmental Health & Safety provides information and safety brochures for Campus Fire Safety.
  • Floor plans, evacuation routes, evacuation assembly locations, drill procedures and fire safety policies are reviewed by RA’s at first floor meeting.
  • Laminated floor plans and evacuation routes are publicly posted on each floor of each residence hall.
  • The University celebrates Fire Prevention Week to promote Campus Fire Safety
  • Hands on fire extinguish training is offered twice a year where employees and students are offered an opportunity to extinguish a fire.

Enforcement

  • Students will be fined heavily and are subject to other judicial action for any violation of Fire Safety
  • Fire/Health Safety inspections are conducted for every room three times per year. Violations are documented with a corrective action plan implemented.

Fire Drills

  • Fire drills are conducted to practice Emergency Preparedness such as escape routes & evacuation plans.
  • Unannounced drills conducted three times during the academic year (August/September, October/November, January/February) and once during the summer.
  • This joint effort involves Residence Life, Public Safety, Environmental Health & Safety and Facilities Management departments.

Process:

  • Alarm pulled by Facilities Management;
  • Evacuation assistance and movement to designated assembly area by Public Safety;
  • FMS representatives check for proper operation of alarm horns, exit and stairwell lights, fire doors and presence of fire extinguishers;
  • Public Safety headquarters check to insure alarm relay working properly;
  • Residence Life Coordinator selects random block of rooms to insure evacuation occurred; fire safety violations and other violations in plain view are documented;
  • Evacuation maintained until Public Safety and Fire Department sounds "all clear";
  • FMS, Public Safety, EH&S and Residence follow-up as required.

Equipment

  • Comprehensive alarm system installed in every building.
  • FMS checks & tests fire alarm systems, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers.
  • Buildings zoned with sensitive smoke detectors that sound alarm for smoke or fumes.
  • Alarms sound in building and also sent to Public Safety department manned 24/7.
  • Annunciator panel at main entrance identifies location of tripped detector or pull box.
  • Strobe light at top of each building alerts fire department to correct building.
  • Sprinklers are an important part of the fire protection system. All residential living areas are equipped with sprinkler systems in student rooms and common areas.
  • All Villanova halls are equipped with fast-acting smoke detectors that sound fire alarm when triggered.
  • All hallways equipped with fire extinguishers; all apartment kitchens have extinguishers.
  • Doors and interior walls are one-hour fire rated, i.e., would take a fire one hour to burn through these items and reach a corridor.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

Before a fire:

  • Students should know the location and route for their first and second means of egress
  • Students should keep fire doors closed.
  • Students should know the location of all fire extinguishers in their area.
    (Note: Do not attempt to extinguish a fire unless you have been trained or the fire is between you and the exit.)

Whether you sense a fire or the building fire alarm system is activated, put the evacuation procedures in action.

Never ignore a fire alarm!

When a fire alarm sounds, you must evacuate the building. In the event of a fire alarm or if a student suspects a fire:

  1. Activate the building alarm. (Pull the alarm on your way out of the building if the alarm horn is not already suspended.)
  2. Call Public Safety (610)519-4444 …give as much information as possible. Your first action should be to grab your room keys and proceed to the nearest exit. Be sure to alert any other occupants in the room.
  3. Evacuate from the building quickly and quietly. (If the hallway is clear of smoke, walk to the nearest fire exit and evacuate the building. Close your door behind you. Leave the fire fighting to the professionals.)
    1. Feel the door from top to bottom-if it is hot, do not open. Keep calm. If trapped in a room, do the following if possible.
      1. Place towels or clothing, preferably wet under the door to keep smoke out.
      2. Clear the window of blinds, attract attention. If you have a phone available contact Public Safety at 4444 or 610 519-4444 and tell the dispatcher that you are trapped, give your name and room number.
      3. Stay low; breathe fresh air near the ground.
      4. Stay calm and await help.
    2. If the door is cool, crouch low and open door slowly. Close door quickly if smoke or fire is present.
    3. If it is clear, exit via nearest stairwell. Stay low if smoke conditions exist. Report to your designated evacuation area.
    4. If you encounter heavy smoke in a stairwell, go back and use an alternate route.
  4. Never use elevators!! Elevators will stop during a fire.
  5. Follow the evacuation plan established for this building.
  6. Do not re-enter this building until instructed by Public Safety and/or
    Fire Department.
  7. Tampering with or misuse of fire safety equipment is illegal. Violators are subject to appropriate sanctions and prosecution.

Important Information

Our Goals for Fire Safety

● Prevention
● Education
● Early Warning
● Rapid Response
● Fire Containment

In Case of Emergency
In case of an emergency dial (610) 519-4444 or 9-4444.

Refer to Student Handbook
Refer to Villanova University’s student handbook for complete policies and procedures.